The other sporting personalities in New Zealand sport

The success of New Zealand as a sporting nation is the variety of sports that certain members of its population have achieved world success in. There are clearly some sports that hold the banner for New Zealand’s favorite sports but a close look at the highest paid New Zealand sportsman throws up some surprising results.

Steve Adams earns a salary of 35 million US dollars per year

Steve Adams earns a salary of 35 million US dollars per year

Steve Adams earns a salary of 35 million US dollars per year

The highest annual salary earned by any New Zealand sports man is by basketball star Steven Adams who in 2016 signed a 4 year deal worth 140 million US dollars with the NBA team the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Born in Rotorua in 1993, Adams hails from a family of sportsman with his sister Valerie being a double Olympic gold medalist and bother Sid a professional basketball player in New Zealand. After the death of his father in 2006 his brother Warrren filled the parental role and Adams eventually was placed in a local basketball academy.

After graduating he attended the University of Pittsburg where after a record breaking debut season he was signed in the 2013 NBA draft by Oklahoma. In the time he has spent with “the thunder” his performances in the world’s best professional basketball league has resulted in him earning his remarkable four year contract.

Joseph Parker the WBO Heavyweight Champion

Joseph Parker the WBO Heavyweight Champion

Joseph Parker the WBO Heavyweight Champion

Joseph Parker is currently the World Boxing Organization’s Heavyweight Champion and he has the undefeated record of 24 victories from 24 fights. He was born in South Auckland in 1992 and from the age of 10 he was boxing at the local Papatoetoe Boxing Club.

Both of his parents came to New Zealand from Samoa, and as well as being the only New Zealander to win a world heavyweight belt he is also the only South Islander to do so. When Parker was only 18 he reached the quarter finals of the Commonwealth Games heavyweight boxing competition in New Delhi in 2010.

In December 2016 Parker beat Andy Ruiz tin the WBO title and since then he has retained it on two occasions with his last fight with Hughie Fury earning him a purse of 1.1 million pounds. His next fight is against the WBA, IBF, and IBO champion Anthony Joshua which is scheduled for the 18th May at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Scott Dixon a star of the Indy Car track

Scott Dixon a star of the Indy Car track

Scott Dixon a star of the Indy Car track

Scott Dixon is one of the biggest names in Indy car motor racing. He competes for the Chip Ganassi Racing team and of the current drivers in Indy Car no one has more than his 41 wins. Born in Brisbane Australia in 1980, both his parents were New Zealand dirt track racers and they moved back to Auckland during his early years.

In his early career Dixon won many races and this resulted him in moving to the United States in 1999 to test in the Indy Lights Series. During test at Sebring he broke the track record and he was signed up to compete in the series.

In 2003 he switched to the Indy Racing League and since then great success has followed. He has won the championship in 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015 and no driver from outside the States has more wins than Dixon.

The highlight of his career came in 2008 when he won the 92nd Indianapolis 500. He has won New Zealand’s sportsman of the year twice, and in 2009 he was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

One of New Zealand’s most controversial characters has been the golf caddie Steve Williams who during his career has worked for Tiger Woods Greg Norman and Adam Scott. It was during his time with Tiger Woods that he was best well known for as it was estimated that he earned 12 million dollars from Woods during his 12 seasons carrying the American’s bag.

After caddying for Adam Scott during the Australian’s win at the 2011 WGC Bridgstone Invitational tournament he said; “I’ve caddied for 33 years -145 wins now- and that’s the best win I’ve ever had”. Pretty remarkable considering that he never hit one ball, and the following day he apologized for his observations.

Boom Time racing home with Cory Parish on board

Boom Time racing home with Cory Parish on board

Boom Time racing home with Cory Parish on board

“One of most New Zealand’s most successful Jockeys in horse racing is Cory Parish. The 28-year-old in October 2017 won the Caulfield Cup at Melbourne on his horse Boom Time. The horse was a huge outsider winning with odds of 42-1. When he is not on the back of his horse Cory likes playing online, both action pack shoot em up along with red or black spinning, just for that adrenaline rush. Naturally, given that he is a jockey he isn’t able to play on the horses himself so thus taking to the games online to fill that need.

Despite not being a fancied runner, the young Kiwi displayed horsemanship beyond his tender years in coaxing his mount up the inside of the track to upset the odds and win the prestigious trophy.

This Group 1 victory for Parish tasted all the sweeter as the journey to the top had not been a straight forward one. In 2013 at the age of 23 it looked like he had lost his chance as he was laying floors back in New Zealand. He then moved across to Australia where he landed the job of riding for the Darren Weir Stable.

The variety of world class sportsman that comes out of such a small country right at the far end of the world is quite remarkable

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